Air force one - hawk deters nesting pests

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Isla, a three year-old Harris hawk, will be taking to the skies above Stonehaven in a mission to deter nesting gulls during their breeding season.

Aberdeenshire Council has called on its contractor NBC Bird and Pest Solutions to deter breeding gulls from settling on properties.

The nesting period typically begins in April and the council is encouraging its communities to take action now to reduce the long-term effects of nuisance gulls. It is illegal to kill gulls and their young, but nests and eggs can be removed before they hatch.

The hawk’s handler, Kirsty Imlay, said: “Isla will be in the air three or four times a week and the sight of a flying bird, along with egg and nest removal, has proven to be a very effective deterrent.”

Head of Protective Services and Waste Management, Ian Robertson, explained: “There is no quick fix for dealing with nuisance gulls but home treatments can be installed and provide a long-term deterrent against the birds.

“The council has produced 2000 copies of our Seagull Survivor’s Guide with full details on how the public can deal with nuisance gulls.

“If you would like Pro-Check Environmental Services to install anti-nesting devices or undertake nest removal, please telephone (0844) 800 6484.”